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Fishy Situations

A TV critic almost loses his job

By Andrew Hershberger     May 05, 2003

Greetings Cinescapers! It's been a hectic week here in the Cinescape hive. Your ever so loving reviewer has found himself in danger of losing his precious day job at the fish-gutting factory. Now some may quibble that there is no such thing as a fish-gutting factory, but I beg to differ. (After all, if there are no fish-gutting factories, why am I gutting fish all day long?)


Now the problem arose when some new people from upper management decided that the best way to gut a fish was through the cranium. Now, you and I know that the best way to gut a fish is via the soft underbelly, where the intestines and what-not actually are. But these people had degrees from Yale and Harvard, so they knew far better than those of us who had been doing the job for 20+ years.


So I, being the union leader's best friend's buddy's sister's roommate's cousin's dog's walker, was given the awesome responsibility of correcting the situation. When I addressed the new management team who took to calling me Mr. Smelly about the situation, they all scoffed and said that who was I to tell them their job and they pulled out a chart of a fish. When I noted that their chart of a fish was actually a picture of Spongebob Squarepants, with little perforated lines designating the best meat sections, they told me I was fired.


Fortunately the VP in charge of fish gutting was there and corrected them all. Afterwards he re-instated me and gave them all promotions.


Ah, such is the way of the world.


Back in TV land things are going pretty steady this week. Not a lot of highs, nary a low. So read on and find out which are the right programs for you to veg out on this week.


Don't forget to send me some mail at feedback@cinescape.com. You just might make a TV critic's day.


MONDAY, MAY 5


STARGATE SG-1 (7 pm, SCI-FI) 1) Ancient artifact causes people to see crazy visions. That's an ancient artifact and not drugs. 2) O'Neill is suspected of killing a politician; Terence and Phillip come to the rescue. Everyone farted on. (Both episodes repeats.)


KINDERGARTEN COP (8 pm, TBS) Arnold kills a boy's father and the boy thanks him! Best thing about this film is the sound bites culled from it so as to commit hilarious prank calls.


FEAR FACTOR (8 pm, NBC)

Vin Diesel as Riddick in PITCH BLACK

Contestants who can't identify disgusting things correctly must eat them. Women swim with dead rodents, have to collect them with their mouths. Guy with remote has to change the channel.


JOY RIDE (8 pm, HBO) Never, but never, pull a practical joke on a trucker.


TUESDAY, MAY 6


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (8 pm, UPN) The potentials discover some of the First's plan and take action. Buffy socks Caleb, Caleb socks feet.


SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS (8 pm, Nick) Spongebob, ever the armchair psychologist, believes Plankton is lonely. Plankton is eaten by a sperm whale. (repeat)


SMALLVILLE (9 pm, WB) Some ghost starts harassing Lana. Clark, whose powers now entail ghostbusting, kicks some spectral butt.


24 (9 pm, Fox) It's 5 am and the man who made the Cypress tape is found, recording a special screening of BRUCE ALMIGHTYwith a smuggled-in DV camera.


WEDNESDAY, MAY 7


THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN (7 pm, IFC) Every art student in the world loves this film, so if you want to date an art student...


ENTERPRISE (8 pm, UPN) Some Borg are discovered in the Arctic circle, leading Capt. Archer to wonder if his show's ratings are slipping.


ANGEL (9 pm, WB) In the season finale, Angel, ever the meddler, attempts to change his son's future. His solution: educational toys of little to no entertainment value.


THE TWILIGHT ZONE (9 pm, UPN) 1) Hey, Death Row inmates, according to this show, if you suffer three botched execution attempts, you get a new trial. 2) Soldier returns home, frightens son.


THURSDAY, MAY 8


PITCH BLACK (8 pm, WB)

SpongeBob SquarePants

Remember when America started its short-lived love affair with Vin Diesel? No? Well nevertheless this is a good flick... that should have started America's love affair with Keith David.


HARD TIMES (8 pm, BRAVO) Charles Bronson, actor? Watch him as a bare-knuckle brawler in this well received Walter Hill flick and decide for yourself.


CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (9 pm, CBS) High school press boxes receive bad press when a woman is found strangled in one.


WITHOUT A TRACE (10 pm, CBS) Nobody expects a woman's disappearance to lead to a hostage crisis, except people reading this blurb.


FRIDAY, MAY 9


THE MATRIX (8 pm, Fox) Wow, virtual remake of DARK CITY, just happens to be showing a few days before the sequel opens. Timing couldn't be better if they had planned it.


ERASER (8 pm, UPN) Schwarzenegger and Vanessa Williams! Who could pass this up! (Sadly, no humorous sound bites have been culled from this film.)


STARGATE SG-1 (8 pm, SCI-FI) 1) Alien utopia doesn't work, alas; alien dystopia does. 2) It's the cliché mutants in an outer space lab episode. (repeat)


SATURDAY, MAY 10


HUNTER (8 pm, NBC) Hunter has to protect a murder suspect from a grieved in-law, but who's going to protect the murder suspect from Hunter? Yeah, kill him Hunter, you crazy vigilante cop you!


THE GREEN MILE (8 pm, ABC) Death row inmate proves to be wrongly convicted Christ figure.


THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (8 pm, AMC) There are two kinds of people in this world, those who hate this movie and those who rock!


SUNDAY,  MAY 11


E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (7 pm, ABC)

Steve Zahn, Leelee Sobieski and Paul Walker star in JOY RIDE

Strange noises from a garage lead a boy to magical adventures and an out of this world friendship. Wish my garage's strange noises did the same for me.


THE SIMPSONS (8 pm, FOX) Homer gets his license revoked and turns to walking. As fate would have it, this enables him to meet Steve Buscemi and Jackson Browne, two celebrities so low rung they can't afford cars.


X-MEN (8 pm, FX) A superhero film the way it should be. Maintains Marvel's bittersweet tone as it relays the story of mutants suffering as society's outcasts while trying to help humanity.


DRAGNET (10 pm, ABC) Friday becomes a cop killer while trying to protect an innocent. Job security is put into question.


Well, that's that. Remember folks, this column is for you as much as for me, so if there are any shows that you are partial to, don't keep them to yourself. Share them with Cinescape at feedback@cinescape.com. I will try to add them to the list. (Sorry, no infomericals.)


TV Wasteland is our weekly Television column.


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